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Meet Our Owner

James Johnson

CEO & Founder

James Johnson grew up in South Pasadena California, a small suburb of Los Angeles. After graduating from South Pasadena high school in 1984, James worked as a roofing contractor with one of his brothers for two years. In 1986, James enrolled in Los Angeles Trade Technical College in the culinary training program. Almost immediately James began a career in the food service industry.

After receiving his certificate of chef training in 1988 James worked in several restaurants in the Pasadena area. Relocating to Carson City Nevada in the early 90’s, James continued working in the food service industry at the same time enrolling in Western Nevada Community College to earn his Associates degree in general studies.

In January of 1995 James found himself relocating to Tucson Arizona. Within six months James was enrolled in Pima Community College on course to transfer to the University of Arizona.  James graduated from the University of Arizona in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences Education. After graduating, James began teaching at Marana High School in Marana Arizona.

During his Eleven years at Marana High School, James taught introduction to culinary arts, advanced applied culinary principals, communications, physical education, and Nutrition. James currently holds Arizona teaching certifications in Secondary Education in Family Consumer Sciences (FACS Ed), Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Structured English Immersion (SEI).

Somewhere along the way, James met and married his best friend, Heather. Together they raised three children, all grown now. They are also the proud Grand parents to two grandsons, Damian and Milo.

After leaving public education in 2012, James returned to the Food service industry as Food service Director for assisted living facilities. After becoming a Licensed Facility Administrator, James decided the Kitchen is where he needed to be. In 2017 James and his wife Heather opened their own place, The Atomic Frog, Ice cream Parlor and Café’. After only two short years James fell and fractured his spine and was unable to meet the physical commitment of operating the Atomic Frog.

With a great deal of heartache, James and Heather Decided to Close the Frog for good. James then started to focus full time on CES, this was a natural direction since from an early age James has always loved teaching.

In addition to James long career in the food service industry, He has also been a CPR instructor for the better part of 40 years. He came to this strange combination of interests because James’ Father was the Director of Nursing and Health Education Programs for the American Red Cross in Pasadena California. It was here James was introduced to volunteerism. James began volunteering at the Red Cross Chapter House at 14 years old helping the CPR instructors and eventually as an administrative assistant in the department that oversaw the Health and Safety programs. At the age of 15 James was trained and certified as a CPR instructor assistant. By the age of 16 James was now a certified CPR instructor. Since that early age, James has trained and certified over ten thousand people in CPR. His passion for educating others and his desire to help people has uniquely equipped James to succeed in this demanding industry.

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